As Pebble seeks to calm Alaskans’ concerns over its proposed mine by claiming it has a “new” project that is smaller and more environmentally friendly, we know their current proposal - rapidly advancing through federal permitting - is merely phase one.
Pebble is quietly making plans to expand and, through an obscure application with the state of Alaska, Pebble is seeking authorization to drill 121 new exploratory wells, 12 of which are far outside the footprint of the phase one plans it submitted to federal regulators. These exploratory wells are located far away from any phase one mine facilities and are all in the famed Upper Talarik creek watershed.
These exploratory wells are part of a continued effort aimed toward future expansion as Pebble continues to pitch potential investors (see 3:54 and 1:25 of this video) on the deposit being the largest mining opportunity in the world.
Click here for a map* of proposed exploratory wells. (Current, phase one plan in gray)
*Online mapping by The Nature Conservancy
Header photo by Mitch Carpenter